Hashtags are a good way to track messages online. Online campaigns use hashtags all the time. Hashtags are effective for more engagement on most social media platforms like twitter, Facebook, Instagram and others.
There are however some things to observe when coming up with the right hashtag for your campaign.
- Brevity- Shorter hashtags are more user friendly. People do not want to type long hashtags on social media. Make sure you make it short to the point, relating it to your campaign. Eight characters is too long a hashtag.
- Relevance- Ensure your hashtag of choice is easily relatable to your message. A slight mistake may end up with a totally different message. People may also hijack the hashtag and use it for other messages contrary to your campaign. Though you can never fully control people’s misuse of your hashtag on social media, you can think strategically and minimize the possibility.
- Clarity- Avoid the use of acronyms in your hashtags. Some of these are not publicly known and may not pass the intended message. It is also important to localize a hashtag when a brand has global presence. You can do this by adding your country to the end. An example is #iFreeKE
- Simplicity- Pick one key message that portrays what your campaign is about. There is no reason to crowd a hashtag with many sub themes. If for instance you are talking about women oppression, FGM, education and Gender based violence, it would not help much to have a hashtag that reads like this: #WOFGMEdGBV instead, all this thing easily fall under the broader category of Human rights, so #HumanRightsKE would work better.
- Originality- Check online if your hashtag of choice is in use. If it is active, look for another one to avoid conflict of interest and message. Remember, some hashtags are easily related to brands that have used them before.
- Longevity- When picking a hashtag, you should also consider future campaigns that you might run. Ask yourself if the hashtag is reusable in future. That is a quality of a good hashtag.
Studies show that tweets with hashtags get more re-tweets. They also work well with Instagram, gaining you more interaction. However, you should minimize the use of hashtags on Facebook, because they lead to fewer interactions.